Indian Railways and Chhattisgarh govt JV to build Rs10,000 crore rail corridors
New Delhi: In a potential boost to industrial infrastructure in Chhattisgarh, the state government, in a joint venture with Indian Railways, has decided to build two fully electrified rail corridors worth Rs10,000 crore.
The Katghora-Dongargarh and Kharsia-Naya Raipur corridors will cater to the coal and cement belts of Korba and Raigarh and have been put before Indian Railways for in-principle clearance to start with land acquisition and other pre-construction activities.
The projects would be undertaken by the Chhattisgarh Railway Corporation Limited (CRCL), a joint venture between Indian Railways and Chhattisgarh government. The national transporters has a 41% stake in the venture with the rest owned by the state government.
“Land identification is already on and acquisition will be started as soon as railways gives its in-principle nod,” CRCL managing director Sanjay Rastogi said.
Rastogi said some passenger trains would also be allowed to run on the corridors, but the rail lines will primarily cater to freight.
The Katghora-Dongargarh rail corridor would be 294 km long and will cost Rs4,820 crore; the 260-km Kharsia-Naya Raipur corridor will cost Rs4,900 crore. The two rail corridors will be ready in five years.
“We plan four corridors. Two have been submitted; the other two are Parsa-Surajpur and Ambikapur-Barwadih. They will not only boost infrastructure, but provide employment and strengthen environment for investment in the state,” a senior Chhattisgarh government official said on condition of anonymity. He declined to give more details.
The project is a part of the Indian Railways 2016 scheme under which the national carrier had announced joint ventures with state governments, empowering the latter to decide and formulate railway infrastructure in their regions by sharing costs. The project was former railway minister Suresh Prabhu’s idea of promoting cooperative federalism through Indian Railways.
According to the arrangement worked out between Indian Railways and Chhattisgarh, CRCL would be responsible for identifying, planning and preparing the rail corridors in the state. Once the projects are approved by the union cabinet, special purpose vehicles (SPVs) would be formed to implement the projects.
Indian Railways executive director (joint venture) Rajesh Aggarwal said: “The JV arrangement is gaining momentum. Seven states have formed joint-venture companies. These include Gujarat, Kerala, Harayana and Jharkhand.”